The Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre’s (CSIDC) annual Field Day and Trade Show routinely highlights advancements in irrigation and crop development, but this year’s event also celebrated 150 years of innovation in agriculture, tying in to Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Held on Thursday, July 13 at the sprawling CSIDC facility in Outlook, the event benefited from bright, warm weather and a nice attendance, with many on hand for the morning and afternoon tours that show what producers, agrologists and project leaders are doing to advance the potential of irrigation in the area and the variety of crops that can be produced from it.
The trade show aspect of the event featured a varied list of agricultural businesses and organizations that attendees were able to check out and network with, including Early’s Farm and Garden Centre, NewWay Irrigation, Monsanto, NextGen Drainage Solutions, SaskCanola, and the Western Winter Wheat Initiative.
As well, a special guest speaker was spotlighted for his contributions to agriculture; Gerry Gross, an Outlook-area farmer who became something of a pioneer in embracing the initiative to develop the irrigation industry in the province. Gerry developed over 1000 acres of irrigation in his farm operation, and he was instrumental in helping to develop and set up the Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association (SIPA), the Irrigation Crop Diversification Corporation (ICDC), and CSIDC.
The morning tours for the Field Day included a look at potato rotation, as well as the agronomy of lentils and a fertigation study being done.
In the afternoon, there were two tours offered for attendees. One group traveled by bus on the Field Crops tour that highlighted a Greenhouse Gas Study being done by Rich Farrell and Cheyne Ogilvie of the University of Saskatchewan located at the farm of Roger Pederson, as well as stops at Grant Pederson’s farm for a look at Canola Performance Trials, as well as CSIDC’s off-station site to look at variable rate irrigation, soybean agronomy, and canola establishment.
Back at CSIDC’s main facility, the Horticulture tour featured demonstrations and talks on horseradish production, strawberry & raspberry water and fertilizer management, late blight resistant tomatoes, and information on bok choy and sui choy for a season-long supply.
The Field Day and Trade Show, much like every year, helped put focus and attention on what the potential might be for new irrigated crops as producers may look to add to their own operations.